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Telecoms to appeal part of wireless code

Canada's major telecom companies have been given the
go-ahead by the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge part of the
CRTC's new wireless code of conduct that would affect three-year
cellphone contracts retroactively as the industry moves to two-year
contracts.
Canada's major telecom companies have been given the go-ahead by the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge part of the CRTC's new wireless code of conduct that would affect three-year cellphone contracts retroactively as the industry moves to two-year contracts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MONTREAL – Canada’s major telecom companies have been given the go-ahead by the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge part of the CRTC’s new wireless code of conduct that would affect three-year cellphone contracts retroactively as the industry moves to two-year contracts.

Rogers, Bell, Telus, SaskTel, Manitoba Telecom Services and others say the code would prematurely apply to three-year contracts signed before the new code comes into effect on Dec. 2.

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The telecom companies say under the code some customers, depending on when they signed three-year contracts, would be able to terminate them after two years without paying a cancellation fee.

The CRTC said has said its wireless code should apply to all contracts, no matter when they were entered into, by no later than June 3, 2015.

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But the telecom companies says some three-year contracts were signed in the later half of 2012 and won’t expire until after the June 3 deadline, potentially leaving them on the hook for part of the subsidy for their smartphones, some of which can cost $700.

The appeals court hasn’t set a date to hear the matter in Toronto.

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